This Tuesday marked International Women’s Day, celebrating the achievements of women throughout the centuries. Because of this, we’re going to take the opportunity to discuss the growing presence single-female homebuyers have made in the current real-estate market. Over the last couple of years, more and more individuals in this demographic have been purchasing homes. According to a 2014 profile on homebuyers and sellers, done by the National Association of Realtors in 2015, single-women made up 16 percent of homebuyers, whereas single-male buyers constituted for only eight percent. It’s always exciting to read news of an emerging demographic in real estate, so we’ll take this time to provide some tips for single females who are thinking of buying a home.
Seeing as you’re going to be a single-income household, you must consider your finances before beginning your home search. You have to think about how much house you can afford, as well as paying for any repairs, renovations, taxes, and utility bills. By having an understanding of your budget, you won’t have to waste time looking at homes you won’t be able to pay for. Searching for a house requires a lot of time, so you certainly don’t want to use any of it looking at homes that won’t meet your financial requirements.
When searching for a new home, you have to make sure the community is safe. Maybe look into a property that’s part of a town with a neighborhood-watch program or in a gated residential area. As you do this, drive through the neighborhoods both at day and night so you can get an idea of what the area is like at these times. When looking at different neighborhoods, check to see how residents interact. If you see they are friendly towards one another and express a strong sense of support for each other, you know you’ll have a better chance at being safe in that neighborhood because the residents are outgoing and active.
If you’re a commuter who uses public transportation, not only should you make sure your new home will have a convenient route to where you need to go, but you should also see that it’s safe. When you can, ask a friend to accompany you as you test some of the area’s transportation to get a feel for the atmosphere on the train, bus, or whatever other mode of public transportation you may take. As you exit the train, bus, etc., take note of the amount of people who leave with you. Typically, the more people who get off at your stop, the safer your destination point will be because of how many others will be around you. It’s important to have your commuting route be every bit as safe as it is convenient.
Speaking of safety, it will also benefit you to get an alarm system. Even if your neighborhood is safe, some home security will provide you with peace of mind. Security systems are a wonderful feature for any house, and some extra safety can go a long way. Given how tech-savvy homes have become over the years, such a system won’t only protect your house against intruders, but will also offer video surveillance that will keep a very close eye on your house when you’re not at home. A security system such as that sounds too good to pass up.
As you look for a home, you should also do what you can to avoid unfair treatment by professionals, so whether you’re hiring a landscaper, a contractor, a plumber, or anyone else, make sure to seek out an expert in order to have someone with the best skills possible who will offer the right price. Being a single homebuyer, you have to make sure you stay on top of everything during the process. Whenever you hire someone to work on your home, it will benefit you to ask them for the contact information of some their former clients so you can reach out to them and ask for their opinions on the person’s work.
If you like to involve yourself in do-it-yourself projects, it may also help you to increase your skills in areas such as electrical, carpentry, and plumbing, which are offered at many vocational schools and community colleges. As a first-time homebuyer, it will help to know as much as you can about how to upkeep your home in order to have it in proper working order. Despite being in a new home, there are some things you may have to fix, and having these home skills at your disposal will certainly make your transition into a new home fairly easier.
You must realize that confidence is key, and you should use that confidence when you approach the housing market. Remember, single females is a growing demographic in real estate, so this is a great time to have your voice and opinions heard as to what you like best when you search for a home. As you begin to look around, know what you want and go for it. This is an exciting part of your life as you plan to invest in a property you love, so work hard and have fun with it.
Whether you’re a homeowner looking to sell your home, or a new buyer looking for that place to call home, odds are you have come in contact with your share of real-estate myths. In fact, you may have wished there was a “Myth Busters” type of show that dealt with real estate, to help you separate fact from fiction. While we’re waiting for a show like that to be created, we want to bust some real estate myths based on over 30 years of our experience in the New York and New Jersey real estate industry.
The Late Agent
Movies and television often propagate the myth that real-estate agents tend to be late for meetings, but this is simply not true. No matter what your profession is, there isn’t any excuse to be late for appointments. If something has come up and an agent knows they may be behind schedule, they will contact you right away to give you a heads-up. Being on time is a sign you take your career seriously, and an agent will convey that to their clients. Agents are committed to giving you the best real-estate experience possible, but if you sense anything different, it might be time to find a new agent.
Try to Get as Much as You Can Upfront
When you’re selling a house, you may have heard you should aim to price your home higher than its market value. In short, this will not work. Not only will this deter potential buyers, but this will undoubtedly force you to reduce your price at some point to get it in line with reality. If you price your home to the market at first, you will get an interested buyer much faster, and your house won’t have to spend more time on the market than it has to. There may still be some negotiating involved, but at least you’ll start engaging with potential buyers earlier and more frequently.
Renovate Before Selling
Some say there are two rooms in your home that you should renovate before selling, and they are the kitchen and bathroom. While that may seem like an enticing idea at first, the truth is you don’t know what kind of tastes your potential buyers may have. They may walk into your house and dislike the changes you have made, and they may not want to spend money on big renovations to make the kitchen and bathroom fit their vision. In that case, you have just wasted money on renovations that don’t attract to buyers. If your kitchen and baths work, leave them alone and let the potential buyer have the option to fix it up as they see fit.
Modernized and Luxury Homes Don’t Need to Be Staged
Even if your home is in a nice neighborhood and has an eye-pleasing appearance, that doesn’t mean you can forgo staging it. Staging a home is one of the most important things to do when you place your home on the market. A potential buyer is not just going to look at the exterior; they’ll want to walk through the house and envision themselves in those surroundings. If you don’t stage the house to make it look its best, potential buyers won’t be able to get a proper feel for that environment. Take some time to look around your house to see if there’s anything to clean or improve upon before your agent photographs the house. You want buyers to experience the best your home has to offer.
Just like ghost stories told around a campfire, you shouldn’t believe in real-estate myths. The real-estate industry is complex enough to understand without having these fallacies thrown in. What you should do is talk to your agent when searching for the truth about the current real-estate market. Doing so will keep you knowledgeable during the buying and selling processes and will save you a great deal of annoyance. Consider these myths “busted”!